Nearly 75 North Carolina residents descended on the North Carolina General Assembly yesterday to join Equality NC and HRC for the annual Equality NC Day of Advocacy in Raleigh. The day was an opportunity for people to partake in trainings to learn the necessary skills to talk to their representatives and become advocates for LGBT North Carolinians.
The day began with a welcome from Equality NC’s Executive Director and North Carolina Representative Chris Sgro and a brief training on how to effectively tell personal stories about how HB2 is impacting North Carolinians from across the state. Equality NC’s Director of Advocacy Crystal Richardson and HRC’s Southern Regional Field Director Joe Saunders facilitated a panel discussion and Q&A with State Senator Erica Smith-Ingram and State Representative Robert Reives who shared thoughts on an effective lobby visit.
Attendees then broke into small groups and made visits to the offices of legislators. While many legislators were tied up with meetings for budget and appropriations, a number of elected officials made time to meet with supporters of equality and others stopped to talk in the hallways and hear the concerns of these North Carolinians.
When the North Carolina legislature hastily passed HB2 during a one-day special session, many legislators did not take the opportunity to hear from their constituents. Yesterday, Equality NC and HRC made sure that members of the North Carolina General Assembly heard those voices loud and clear, urging a full repeal of HB2. The path to repeal will be challenging and while there is more work to do to pressure elected officials, the event was a huge success.
TurnOUT! NC, the joint project of the Human Rights Campaign, Equality NC, Campaign for Southern Equality and the ACLU of North Carolina, will be hosting another Day of Advocacy for Transgender North Carolinians, Families & Friends For Repeal of HB2 that will take place on Wednesday, May 25. North Carolina residents can sign-up here to attend.
TurnOUT! NC is also working to mobilize thousands of North Carolinians to speak out for the full repeal of HB2. TurnOUT! NC has field organizers based in Asheville, Charlotte and the Triangle area. Additionally, HRC staff is on the ground working with coalition partners across the Tar Heel State. There are daily opportunities to volunteer with weekly phonebanks and weekend canvassing opportunities.
If you live in North Carolina and want to join the efforts to repeal HB2, RSVP for upcoming phonebanks and volunteer opportunities. For more information about our work in North Carolina, contact HRC Associate Regional Field Director Ryan Rowe at Ryan.firstname.lastname@example.org.